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April 2nd Weekly Update

Message From Tony

The cost-of-living crisis has been top of mind for Canadians, and a top priority for our government. Inflation, and the Bank of Canada’s high interest rates to control it, have created hardship, but with a steady decline in the inflation rate (down to 2.8% in February), there’s an expectation for interest rates to start declining this year. We are not out of the grips of inflation but are headed in the right direction. Everyone deserves to succeed, and that’s what Budget 2024 is all about – fairness, for everyone. 

National School Food Program

On Monday, the Prime Minister announced a 5-year funding program to launch a new national school food program.  Working with the provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners this new program, backed by a $1 billion commitment over 5 years, will provide a safety net for children and families facing food insecurity. The program will launch with a target of providing meals to 400,000 more kids every year, beyond those served by existing school food programs. Our government remains committed to lifting children out of poverty – providing opportunity for all to have a great start in life. That’s why we’ve made generational investments like the Canada Child Benefit, which provides families with up to nearly $8,000 per child, per year, to provide the essentials their kids need. And since 2015, 650,000 children have been lifted out of poverty, meaning Canada’s child poverty rate has fallen by more than half.

Support for Renters

More Gen-Z and Millennials are renting than generations before them. And renters have particularly felt the squeeze with rents skyrocketing across the country.

Renters deserve protection from steep rent hikes, renovictions, or bad landlords. With our new Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights and our new Tenant Protection Fund, they won’t have to face these challenges alone. And when it comes time to buy a home, renters deserve credit for the money they have put towards rent over the years. We are introducing new measure to support renters which will include:

  • Launching a new $15 million Tenant Protection Fund. This would provide funding to legal aid and tenants’ rights advocacy organizations to better protect tenants against unfairly rising rent payments, renovictions, or bad landlords.
  • Creating a new Canadian Renters’ Bill of Rights, developed and implemented in partnership with provinces and territories. This would require landlords to disclose a clear history of apartment pricing so renters can bargain fairly. We will also crack down on renovictions, create a nationwide standard lease agreement, and give renters more agency.
  • Making sure renters get credit for on-time rent payments. Renters deserve credit for the money they put toward rent over the years, especially when it comes time to apply for a mortgage for their first home. We’re going to amend the Canadian Mortgage Charter and call on landlords, banks, credit bureaus, and fintech companies to make sure that rental history is taken into account in your credit score.

Joining the annual Mayor's Luncheon in Newmarket

Supporting our communities requires cooperation among all levels of government — federal, provincial, and municipal.

At the Annual Mayor’s Luncheon, hosted by the Central York Chamber of Commerce, I was able to hear from Mayor John Taylor on the progress of Newmarket and his vision for the future. It was great to learn more about his ideas and plans to address the issues facing Newmarket.

Our government is committed to working with municipal governments to ensure Canadians continue to thrive by making life more affordable, creating more good jobs, and supporting families from coast to coast to coast.

Thank you to Mayor John Taylor, the Central York Chamber, and everybody who joined us at the luncheon.

Promoting healthy living for high school students

Promoting healthy living in schools is crucial. It sets up Canadian youth for success and ensures they have the skills and mindset to properly care for themselves as they transition into adulthood.

Under the second round of the School Health Grant for Youth program, youth aged 13-19 in high school can apply to receive up to $1,500 in grants to support projects that promote healthy living by:

  • reducing substance-related harms;
  • fostering positive mental health and well-being;
  • promoting healthy eating and nutrition; or,
  • encouraging physical activity among their peers.

Projects can include:

  • organizing a cooking workshop to increase awareness of healthy eating;
  • organizing intramural sports;
  • organizing a workshop on preventing and reducing substance-related harms

Under the first round of this program, 81 high school students across the nation are receiving grants for initiatives that encourage and promote healthy living in their schools. I was proud to see a project at JM Denison Secondary School in Newmarket receive $950 under this round of funding.

I encourage high school students to get involved and submit an application. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2024.

Updates on the Canadian Dental Care Plan

Canadians deserve access to quality, affordable dental care. That’s why we launched the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) — to help people across the country get the care they need.

Over 1.3 million seniors have been approved for the CDCP, meaning that they’ll soon be able to start visiting the dentist for a variety of services like scaling, cleaning, x-rays, and more. Currently, eligible seniors aged 70 and up should have received letters in the mail with instructions on how to apply.

To be considered eligible for the CDCP, you must:

  • not have access to dental insurance;
  • have an adjusted family net income of less than $90,000;
  • be a Canadian resident for tax purposes; and
  • have filed your tax return in the previous year.

In May 2024, the CDCP will shift to an online platform and will be open for eligible seniors 65 and up. In June 2024, eligible persons with a valid Disability Tax Credit certificate and children under the age of 18 will be able to apply online. All remaining eligible Canadian residents will be able to apply in 2025.

Additionally, dental providers can now sign up to participate in the CDCP through SunLife. By signing up to participate in this program, dental providers are playing a vital role in ensuring their community has better access to safe and reliable oral health care.

I encourage dental providers in our community to learn more and get involved. We must all work together to ensure all Canadians have access to the dentist, because oral care is health care.

Canadians do not yet have access to coverage under the CDCP. Information on when your coverage will begin will be available after you’re approved for coverage.

Keep the cash, care for climate: Canada Carbon Rebates being paid April 15th

MP Michael Couteau, Minister Ya'ra Saks, MP Van Bynen, Minister Gould, MP Robert Morrissey, MP Chad Collings, and MP Wayne Long (right to left) during the study of Bill C-35 in HUMA

The impacts of climate change are not pausing, they’re only accelerating, costing Canadians more with every passing year. Just last year, we’ve seen the effects of climate change through the worst wildfire season Canada has seen. Through Canada’s carbon pricing system, our government is making sure that it is not free to pollute while putting more money in the pockets of 8 out of 10 families.

None of the money collected through the carbon pricing system is given to the federal government. The money collected is instead returned to Canadians through the Carbon Rebate in provinces where the federal pricing system is in place. In Ontario, this rebate will provide $280 per quarter for a family of four and $140 per quarter for a single individual with no children. In addition to this amount, a 20% rural supplement is provided to Canadians residing in small and rural communities. 

This amount will be paid out on April 15th for Canadians who submitted their 2023 tax return before March 15th, 2024. If you submitted yours later — don’t worry. Your Carbon Rebate will be deposited in a subsequent payment.

The carbon pricing system is our government’s way of fighting climate change and ensuring big polluters pay the most. This means that by switching to more sustainable options, like taking public transit to work and switching your home to electric heating, you can avoid paying carbon pricing while still receiving the quarterly Carbon Rebate.

Carbon pricing is working. We are on track to meet our climate target for the first time in history, and carbon pricing alone will account for 1/3 of our emission reductions by 2030. Don’t let the Conservatives Ruin the Rebate — Canadians need it more than ever.

Tony Van Bynen

Member of Parliament for
Newmarket—Aurora

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